What it does and how it works
We've created a tenancy agreement template, that fairly documents the requirements and obligation of both the tenant and the private landlord.
Landlords and tenants are free to use their own tenancy agreements if they prefer, but our version has the advantage that it has been impartially constructed and can be signed electronically. And it allows some customisation if needed.
Our online dashboard will also help private landlords make sure they issue the right documentation alongside the tenancy agreement, including the prescribed information and the documents needed to show that the tenancy deposit has been registered with a recognised tenancy deposit scheme.
It is essential that the tenancy deposit is registered with a recognised scheme before the tenancy begins. The penalties for not doing so are severe – up to 3 times the value of the deposit.
Landlords also need to make sure that they carry out "right to rent" checks, which verify that a tenant has the legal right to live in the UK.
To do this, private landlords need to check and make a copy of an original copy of the passport or permanent residence card. Unlike many of the steps in the rental process, the right-to-rent checks must be carried out face to face with all prospective occupiers.
Prescribed informationLandlords are legally obliged to provide tenants with certain information about their tenancy in writing. The key terms of the tenancy are included in the Prescribed Information which must be provided within 30 days of the landlord receiving the deposit. This includes the amount of the deposit, the address of the property, the name and contact details of the administrator of the tenancy deposit scheme and the details of the landlord and tenant (and anyone else who is a party to the contract).
DepositIn addition to the deposit references in the Prescribed Information, the landlord must include a leaflet supplied by the deposit scheme administrator, and outline the procedures that apply in terms of repayment of the deposit at the end of the tenancy, how deductions will be made and what happens in the event of a dispute.
Break clauseAssured shorthold tenancy agreements are normally for a fixed period of 12, 24 or 36 months. But the landlord and tenant may agree to end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term, by using a break clause. This enables either party to terminate the contract at their discretion with an agreed period of notice, or at specific points within the tenancy.
Tenants' obligationThis section outlines the key contractual requirements placed on the tenant during the term of the tenancy. The key obligations include paying rent, how an individual tenant can be replaced, how the property is to be used and how the tenant should look after the property. The tenant is not normally required to insure the property itself, but must make sure he or she does not invalidate the landlord's insurance. Contents insurance is the responsibility of the tenant.
Landlord's obligationThe landlord is obliged to allow the tenant to use the property without unlawful interruption as well as being required to maintain, repair and insure the building. The landlord must also comply with safety regulations including gas and electrical safety tests, and make sure that they have all the necessary licences and consents.